New Zealand’s earthquake prone buildings mapped using 3D lasers

New Zealand’s earthquake prone buildings mapped using 3D lasers

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New Zealand, November 5, 2014: Recently, New Zealand-based company Solutions By Zeal has been in news for using a hand-held laser mapping system to survey buildings that are prone to earthquakes or in need of restoration or redevelopment.

The company first tested the efficiency of the ZEB1 laser mapping equipment for test-mapping Cargills Castle in Dundin in August. ''We wanted to test it on Cargills Castle because it's an important building and once it's gone it's gone. We'll be giving the model to the castle trust to use for their earthquake testing and restoration planning,” Solutions By Zeal director Lawrie Forbes told media. The company is now claims that the technology could offer savings of up to 80% in building measurement costs.

Developed by CSIRO and start-up GeoSLAM, and commercialised by UK based 3D Laser Mapping, ZEB1 uses robotic technology called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). The ZEB1 system includes a lightweight laser scanner mounted on a simple spring mechanism, which continuously scans as the operator walks through the environment. As the scanner loosely oscillates about the spring it produces a rotation that converts 2D laser measurements into 3D fields of view. Its ability to self-localise makes ZEB1 ideally suited for use indoors, underground and in other covered environments, where traditional solutions that utilise GPS do not function.

“The ZEB1 also provides accurate floor plans, elevations and wall widths which can be used for seismic design or just renovation purposes. The ZEB1 is particularly useful for measuring old buildings for which there were no architectural plans,” he said. Forbes added that New Zealand is rattled by up to 20,000 quakes a year and that the country has around 25,000 earthquake prone buildings.

Source: 3D Laser Mapping